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Is a Royal Commission into the Veteran Suicide Rate in Australia What We Really Need?

(Note: The graph from igorscience.org is of US statistics)

[Editor’s Note: “Former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) are battling rates of suicide higher than the general population” according to a report released in June 2017. That doesn’t come as a surprise.]

by Felicity Hingston

Phil Essam Casey wants  a Royal Commission into the Veteran Suicide Rate in Australia. This is the petition he put up on Change.org:

“In 2017 , 80 plus Australian Veterans have lost their lives to suicide. This is a National Tragedy and something needs to be done about it. Earlier this year, the Australian Government gave DVA a bucket of money to help in this area. Doesn’t seem to be working… I call on the Australian Government to establish a Royal Commission with wide terms of reference… ” [59,853 have signed so far.]

I have a healthy respect for veterans –- e.g., earlier generation members of my family; my Father-in-law (WWII veteran who battled PTSD, yet continued to fight in support of widows and families), and my ex-students. So I mean absolutely no disrespect! But, before I sign my support, I HAVE SOME DOUBTS TO EXPRESS:

Firstly, justification.

How about we look at WHY we are fighting and WHERE. I am convinced many of the young veterans can’t face the reality that it is NOT a fair, justified fight. Add to that, the lack of understanding on return home, the lack of respect, the in-fighting as we battle with multiculturalism here at home, the politics. Even the threat to Anzac Day is gaining momentum.

Veterans from WWI and WWII had serious issues upon their return, yet they could wholeheartedly believe they were defending our country and way of life — thanks to limited media. They had the opportunity to meet with their ‘old digger mates’ without judgement. Plus they were, to a great extent, hailed as heroes.

Those who fought in Vietnam copped it much more harshly, even being shamed by the 60s peace-lovers.

But the Middle East is a completely different ballgame. Sure, we still have ‘controlled media’, but these young people aren’t techno-illiterate. Their exposure to the negative media means they know what’s going on. Perhaps this is NOT what they signed up for!

Even a senseless moron would find it difficult to destroy villages (mothers & children)! Try reading how (some of) the Allied bomber pilots felt fire-bombing Germany.

Secondly, expense and efficacy.

Whilst I support the idea, I don’t know that a Royal Commission with ‘wide terms or reference’ is the answer. Money thrown at numerous organisations hasn’t done much, and they haven’t worked together. What about someone pull all these organisations together, establish WHY so many ‘give up’ (and what aren’t we doing for them?) — and then address the REAL issues!

By the time a royal commission is organised, not only will there be no money left, but likely hundreds more veterans will be defeated.

Further to expense: How about we get a breakdown of defence spending?

There’s the submarine contract with a company (DCNS) — which already let us down; fighter jets that are obsolete before they’re built; underground bases we (the taxpayers) fund but aren’t allowed to know anything about. And what about the amazing technology being withheld from us?

I also can’t help but wonder about the defence funds going towards gender change.  No other ‘business’ covers this individual ‘wish for change’ so why the ADF?

Thirdly, Who calls the shots?

When will we be our own masters? USA is a formidable big brother, but senseless adulation is certainly not in our interests as we become ever more a part of Asia/Pacific!

So, rather than petition for a long, time-and-money-wasting Royal Commission, how about we address the above issues?




  1. The Vietnam veterans didn’t get any support, so they put together their own ‘Veterans Outreach Centers’. There was individual counseling, but more importantly there were ‘Group Sessions’.

    Those ‘Groups’ could be brutal in their honesty. You get a bunch of hardened vets who all have similar issues that they can easily spot in other vets – you can’t pull the wool over their eyes. I’ve seen a lot of undigested war experience get puked out during those sessions.

    I started the first Group Sessions in Oz back in 1982 for the Vietnam Veterans. Perhaps it’s time to form something similar for the newer vets.

    It works and the money that would be pizzed away by a bunch of lawyers during a Royal Commission could be used more efficiently.

  2. Terry,

    And the group sessions you suggest would cost next to nothing as compared to an RC.

    Oh, and they work..

    Better still, stop sending them to bullshit wars for the crony gang-banksters.

  3. Royal Commissions are by their very nature-Royal- and therefore terms of reference etc are designed to protect those culpable and shift the blame — . Recommendations are cherrypicked to fit the already planned new policies that suit their agendas– big business to achieve ultimate Royal plan.

    Couple of links -first about suicide epidemic and how it is addressed [or not] bit by bit at a national level nb journalist George Georgatos research ignored

    secondly -finding “global solutions” to manage the identified failings


    Future Generation Global Investment Company — Future Generation
    Global fund managers, supporting children and youth mental health. FGG is Australia’s first internationally focused listed investment company with the dual objectives of providing shareholders with diversified exposure to selected global fund managers and changing the lives of young Australians affected by mental illness.

  4. Terry and Phil I support your comments experience of what works—–
    Felicity Thank you for the post.

    Am watching –
    Kenneth Haynes QC defining the aims of Royal commission
    Royal Commission -Banking Commission- “many inquiries into financial system still under way-regulated by many bodies –various codes of conduct–changes underway etc etc– legislative and regulatory framework needs to be considered –all Australians have right to be treated fairly –aaaagghh misconduct definition given–

  5. Felicity Hingston, “How about we look at WHY we are fighting and WHERE.” You have hit the nail on the head.

    The ADF is supposed to be a unit to DEFEND AUSTRALIA. Not an attack force sent anywhere in the World that the US or United Nations says we should attack.

    The old saying “it is better to fight them overseas than on our own shores” is total bullshit and always has been so. It is time for the majority to wake up to this rubbish.

    I wonder how many of the victims of suicide had other health problems apart from PTSD that brought on their decision to “pull the plug”. Health issues like cancer, diabetes, Parkinson disease, radiation poisoning. These diseases are not treated correctly by the health industry, so these problems will never be cured. These are the types of heath issue brought home by Veterans.

    I am a Vet myself and thank goodness I have not been affected in the way that I have seen many others go down hill. The Veterans, from the latest wars are affected and have infected their spouses as well with terrifying radiation sicknesses. This is apart from the DNA damage done to their children.

    I have a Vietnam Veteran colleague who has a son born extremely handicapped, has lost a testicle to cancer some time ago, and is now fighting for his own life against cancer. My friend is a strong willed character and will fight. But what about the others who are not as strong willed?

    There is only one way to stop this cycle of madness. That is to enforce politicians to only allow our troops to fight on our shores. There would be no more wars. No more big profits for the Banksters and no more after war casualties.

        • Many of these artificially-created diseases represent little more than a marketing opportunity to the same big money that causes their existence in the first place, who can then control and offer the treatment (never cure). The (((Military-Industrial-Complex))) also includes big pharma who only ever one step removed from weapon production.

  6. Felicity Aussie and all commentators thankyou for telling it as it is .
    It’s tragic how our women and men are used as mercenaries to occupy sovereign nations .
    To all masons of slavery . Shame shame shame !

  7. No more worries ex vets; ex Major General, now Senator Molan will take on the fight for ex vets and have those ‘killing of the coaltion’ liars and cowards exposed.

  8. Over decades, footsoldiers of the US empire and their allies/proxies wage vicious war, based on propaganda/deceptions/LIES:
    In the future, “what is being prepared is a level of mass killing far beyond the bloodbaths carried out in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere.”
    And with the new US “defence” strategy focus targeting China and Russia, even more contributions from “partners” will be undoubtedly expected, and (more or less) willingly proffered:
    Substantially increased expenditures on the military + wars also serve to distract from their own deteriorating domestic (shithole) conditions:
    The corollary is that more operations, more veterans, and more associated consequences can be expected among all belligerent participants. When they eventually go home, many of these footsoldiers suffer PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/bad conscience) and suicides. https://www.verywell.com/oefoif-veterans-and-posttraumatic-stress-ptsd-symtpoms-2797314
    Despite this, the wars proliferate and intensify in scale and ferocity. At the end of the day, when the footsoldier/artilleryman/sailer/pilot/drones operator/propagandist/faked news reporter realises what he/she/they (individually and jointly) have done to millions of HUMAN BEINGS, Muslims AND non-Muslims, he/she/they (many of them) kill themselves!!! http://www.bestcounselingschools.org/statistics-of-veteran-suicides-in-the-u-s/
    “Where have all the flowers gone? . . . When will they ever learn?”

  9. Wars have defined much of my life—-the line “When they eventually go home, many of these footsoldiers suffer PTSD “–made me reflect on a conversation I had with my father in 2012 when he told me how he was recruited into the army -London- “the awkward ” squad and then systematically brutalised, “trained” “handled” “promoted” put in solitary confinement , tortured, hospitalised and trained in intelligence, MI5 MI6 code breaking and methods of “training” “handling” others –he became an “expert” a “genius” with an extremely mentally disturbed dissociated and at times “insane” dangerous mind.
    My point –post traumatic stress disorders were created in him deliberately—as a basic requirement for his future role as an undercover operative who followed orders without question.

    “An awkward squad is a group of individuals, normally within an existing organisation or structure, who resist or obstruct change, either through incompetence or by deliberate association.”

    And 75 years on these “guinea pigs” of Brigadeer General Dr Rawlings Rees’s- “Psychological Warfare Department’s” experiments- [Military Intelligence Mind Control– Tavistock Clinic London] -allows statements like the one below –to be accepted with little outrage by the ‘general mind controlled population”. Maybe a Royal Commission could result with an apology from The Royals et al.

    “As an indication of the socio-economic background of British Army personnel, in 2015 three-quarters of its youngest recruits had the literacy skills normally expected of an 11-year-old or younger, and 7% had a reading age of 5–7.[20] The British Army’s recruitment drive in 2017 targeted families with an average annual income of £10,000.[21]
    Recruitment for officers typically draws on upwardly-mobile young adults from age 18, and recruiters for these roles focus their resources on high-achieving schools and universities.[19][22] (Canada is an exception, recruiting high-achieving children from age 16 for officer training”

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